As welcome committees go, we did a pretty good job, though I say so myself as shouldn’t. As soon as I saw the Eldest of the Darling Daughters disembarking from her car outside our house, I pushed Mr B in his
wheelchair to the front door, threw it open (the front door, not Mr B in his wheelchair. Heaven forefend!) and we greeted our first-born with a Most Tuneful Rendition of Happy Birthday. Our daughter, waving a bottle of Prosecco in her hand (she had obviously
decided it was a BYOF - as in, Bring Your Own Fizz - occasion) sashayed along the drive towards us like a true Birthday Girl.
I think it is worth observing that, once your off-spring grow up and have families of their own it is rare to see them and celebrate with them on the actual day of their birth. A telephone call or a FaceTime session may need to suffice. So for all you
parents bewailing the perils of party planning for your littl’uns - the negotiations over the Invitation list, the catering concerns in these days of faddy foodies, the baking / buying of a suitably splendid cake, the issue of how to fill two hours with
suitably exciting entertainment, the filling of countless goodie bags while crossing fingers that the contents will be acceptable - please be sure to enjoy every single taxing minute. One day that littl’un will be all grown up and you will wish yourself
back again in the community hall, the Scout Hut, the soft play centre, trying to get everyone to put their right leg in during the singing of Okey Cokey. Those were, indeed, the days, if you did but know it.
Yesterday, however, I was not in the least maudlin because there was my daughter, arms open wide for a birthday hug. Both Mr B and I were most happy to oblige.
My preparations had not been particularly arduous - her card was written, her present (chosen on the most helpful advice of her own two daughters) was wrapped and I had made a cake - yes, indeed, to my usual recipe, courtesy
of the Divine Delia. I had planned to decorate all round the outside of the cake with pieces of Curly Wurly bars but unfortunately I didn’t buy enough of them to go, well, round. I can’t believe how small Curly Wurlies are these days - I’m
sure they were much, much longer in the days when they were a favourite sweet treat of my Foursome. Anyway I did what I do best and adapted to the circumstances. It possibly wasn’t one of my very best decorated cakes but Mr B, ever loyal, said: “Wow!”
when I presented it to him for his inspection. He always says: “Wow!” Whatever the cake.
I had thought we might head down to the Golden Lion for lunch,
but it would have been rather chilly for Mr B and, besides, the Birthday Girl had a celebratory evening meal booked for later on with other family members. So we settled for soup and bacon rolls, which might not seem appropriately special for a birthday till
you hear that we followed it up with slices of birthday cake (Curly Wurly much appreciated) washed down with Prosecco. Then we settled down comfortably to watch the DVD of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. “I’ve been wanting to
see that for ages!” exclaimed the Birthday Girl - and, as my dear Dad was wont to say: “What’s the good of a birthday, if you can’t do what you like?”
I was very young when the Eldest of the Darling Daughters was born, only just nineteen. I have often observed, ruefully, that I learnt how to be a mother by trial and error and, bless her, she was the baby I learnt on. I just hope she doesn’t
have too much to forgive me for...
Happy birthday to the Eldest of the Darling Daughters! I can’t tell you how glad I am that we were able to spend such
a Perfect Day with you!